Indiana Wedding

Do you ever have those times when you just know you are exactly where you are meant to be?  When your soul is fed?  When you forget about the work deadlines, life’s small hurts and big stresses?  Labor Day weekend was like that for me.

Its a good thing I enjoyed it so much, since we had to drive over 12 hours to get there!  My cousin was getting married and our destination was the small town where my mom grew up and much of my family still lives.

To us…well… it was worth the trip.

MattWedding4Being on the lake is gorgeous (and FUN) but it was the people that really made it worth it.  This was the first time that (almost) the whole family was back together since our wedding, almost 2 years ago.  We drove through the night so that Scott could make the morning tee time with the men.   We met up with some other weary travelers at the golf course (Hi Dad!).  Nothing like a beautiful day and a morning tee time to perk men up!

ScottDadGolfWe women met up for, you know…trying on each other’s shoes.  Oh wait, that was just Sophie.  I can always count on little girls to love either my shoes or my earrings.

SophieThe girl has style!

Sophie SwimBut seriously, I spent the afternoon with my aunts, uncle, cousins and the babies and it was just so good.  I love my family so much.  Being in the midwest, surrounded by ‘my’ people was just what I needed.  I needed to get away from the pace and priorities of New York City.

MattWedding6That evening, we had the rehearsal dinner, where coral was the color of the night.

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Here are my mom and her siblings.  I love when we get them all together.IMG_6107

And then it was wedding day!  After some iffy rain in the afternoon, the sun came out just in time for the outdoor ceremony.  The wedding was at the “Red Barn Experience.”  And the name was apropos.  You drove down a country road, between the rows of beans and corn, turned onto a farm and there was the wedding!
WindmillMy Godfather, the Groom’s father, officiated the wedding.  We were all so proud of him.  The ceremony was short and sweet and then it was just a hop, skip and jump (literally) to the reception site.

I made my family stop for a quick photo shoot after the ceremony.  Don’t the women look so nice!

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IMG_6111It was a family group effort entertaining the kids.  Except when there are melt downs.  Those go to mom and dad!

Precious Sophie girl chasing bubbles.  Sophie3

Oh yes, here are the bride and groom!  I love seeing my cousin, Matthew, so happy.  And we are SO thrilled to have you in the family, Cari!MattWedding3

MattWedding5The event details played off the farm setting so well.

MattWedding1We all had such a great time.

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Probably not as much fun as the new Mr. and Mrs.  We loved celebrating you two!  Here’s to your ‘Happily Ever After!’MattWedding2

From Broadway to Brooklyn

Earlier this summer, my mom, sister and I were back together (in close quarters) again!  The trip could also be known as “Scott learned what my father lived with (dealt with) for 20 + years.”  I think he has a new appreciation for my dad.

To kick off their visit, I took Mom and Megan to a cute wine bar on the West side (Ardesia for the New Yorkers out there).

I believe my mom’s cocktail was called “Don’t fall off the balcony and ruin the party.” No lie. IMG_5773

The food was delicious and the weather was perfection.  We had the best al fresco dinner.

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Then it was off to an evening of frills, twirls, sparkles and dancing animals.
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Cinderella on Broadway, of course!  It was every little girl’s fantasy come to life with no holds barred.

The quote of the show has to be by the Fairy Godmother…

“You’d be surprised how many beautiful gowns have crazy women in them!”IMG_5777

The next day Scott and I got to check an item off our NYC bucket list.  We walked the Brooklyn Bridge!IMG_5784

I seriously recommend you walk the Brooklyn Bridge at some point in your life.  IMG_5791

You get great views of some of the city’s well-known landmarks.

Hello, pretty lady!

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There is the Freedom Tower – all 1776 feet of it.IMG_5804

And hello, Empire State Building!IMG_5810

It’s an easy walk and there are neighborhoods worth exploring on both ends.   When you arrive in Brooklyn it feels like you are worlds away from Manhattan.  The spaces are more open, there is more grass and way more parks and neighborhood-y type things.

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And on the Manhattan side, there’s the South Street Seaport and SmorgasBar!

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When Sandy knocked out most of the shops and restaurants in the South Street Seaport area/Financial District, the Brooklyn Flea set up SmorgasBar.  It’s a fun area with pop up restaurants of well-loved restaurants and food trucks.  Including Magnolia Bakery and Red Hook Lobster Pound.

We tried both the Maine and New England style lobster rolls.  The New England (aka BUTTER) style was my favorite.  Both were heaven.  Even our picky, non-seafood eating family member enjoyed.  That would be Megan, of course.  And see those drinks? Grown up Arnold Palmers.  DE- LISH.  It was such a treat after walking the Brooklyn Bridge and back.

IMG_5815There is also a TKTS booth at South Street.  We waited in line that morning to get Peter and the Star Catcher tickets.  Scott got to join us for this Broadway adventure.  He was a little iffy about the Peter Pan story line, but I heard him laughing along with the rest of us through the show.  It’s a “grown up prequel” to Peter Pan and I looooved it.

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It’s true “theater” (as opposed to a play or a musical) and the actors performed it perfectly.  They didn’t miss a beat and there was plenty going on throughout the entire show.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone.  You see how Peter Pan becomes Peter Pan and how he comes to have a connection to Wendy.  And you learn where Tinkerbell came from!  And there is a very funny scene that shows a slightly different angle to how Captain Hook lost his hand.  I love the Peter Pan story and this just made me fall in love with it even more.
IMG_5819All in all, this was one of the busiest, most decadent, most wonderful weekends we’ve had in a long time!  Mom treated us to cabs everywhere (SCORE!), we got to eat delicious food and we saw not one, but two shows.  It was hard coming back to real life!

Friend Vacay in Cape May

So now that summer is over, how about I blog about it? Apparently there was just too much going on for me to be bothered to blog much this summer.  Forgive the out-of-season posts??

In July, we went on a vacation with our New York / New Jersey group of friends.  We rented a house in Cape May (southern Jersey) for a long weekend.  I’d heard good things about the area but didn’t expect the town to be so adorable / Victorian and the beaches to be so beautiful!

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IMG_5645Long, white, sandy beaches with plenty of room to spread out for all 14 of us.

IMG_5650I camped out in my beach chair and not much could make me budge.

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These guys camped out under the portico/tent and couldn’t be bothered to budge.  My fair-skinned husband is the one in the middle.  He slathered on SPF 70 and then still sat in the shade all day.  I slathered on SPF 70 and repeated furiously throughout the day.

Scott and I have turned a corner.  We are officially adults (or is that old?)! We no longer care about getting a tan and lo and behold – no sunburns this summer!

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We had a blast at the beach.  The waves were huge and so fun to ride…once you got past the huge breaks and the ice cold temperatures.

There’s nothing like digging a huge hole in the ground to foster teamwork.
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Of course, some had more fun than others.IMG_5664

The guys weren’t completely cruel to poor Ricky.  They did allow him his drink, after all.IMG_5671

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One is never enough.  Here we have Danny, the turtle.IMG_5688

The fun continued into the evening at our lovely little cottage.  There were plenty of card games, laser light shows, murder-ball, Bruce Springsteen and techno music.IMG_5704

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Cheek to cheek with Danny!  He’s off being important and smart in London now.
IMG_5722Not my finest photo, but here is proof I was actually there. And isn’t that what beach vacations are all about? Not doing your hair and make up, laughing til your sides hurt and having fun with friends?

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I officially declare the friend vacay of 2013 a success!Friendvacay